600 people join local church reframe pastoral program

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SORSOGON City, Jan. 22, 2014— No less than 600 people were convened by the church to join its hierarchy in the pre-drafting of the five-year pastoral program last week at the Aemilianum Institute Gymnasium, Sorsogon Diocese Media Relation Officer Rev. Fr. Bong Imperial on Tuesday said.

These people, most of whom are members of the Laity, were authorized by the diocese, under the creative oversight of Most Rev. Bishop Arturo Bastes, to work with the clergies in the assessment of the pastoral program applied in the past five years, he said.

The same people, who came from different parishes across the province, took part in identifying the pastoral program’s achieved gains in the last five years from the setbacks sustained during the same period, Fr. Imperial said.

He said the process of isolating definite achieved gains from specific programs that missed to hit their points would determine the shaping of the pastoral program final draft.

“The entire 2013 was data gathering for the assessment,” Fr. Imperial said. “It started from group of families in the parish level up to the diocese level, which was the pre-drafting.”

The pre-drafting of the pastoral program has redefined the vision and mission of the church, he said. Parallel to it is realignment of the different commissions for Family and Life, Youth, Media for Evangelization, Worship, Education, Services and Temporalities (FLYMEWEST).

On March 8, the diocese expects to finish the pastoral program final draft, he said. Upon completion, it would be put in writing.

“The next pastoral program is not an entirely new version,” the priest said. “It is only an enriching of the existing one to make it responsive to the call of the people and time.”

By June, after each priest was reshuffled to a new parish, the new pastoral program should take effect, Fr. Imperial said.

“It would be the blueprint of the diocese for the next five years,” the priest said.

The priests in their new parishes would be asked of what special focus their parishes would thread in the next five years, he said.

“It could be environment, youth or family,” the priest said. “But not at the expense of the two.”

The local church reassigns its priests to another parish every five years, he said. This culture distinguishes this diocese at the tip of Bicol peninsula from its counterparts that reshuffle their priests for too long a time.

The pastoral program is also revisited and evaluated together by the clergies and the people for any refinement in response to the call of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Fr. Imperial said. (Oliver Samson)

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